2020 Census

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  2020 Census Fact Sheets

Census 101               General FAQs               Confidentiality               Counting Young Children 

Military               LGBTQ+               Who Counts in Your Household               Accessibility

Responding Online               Sample Questionnaire               Why We Ask               Census Job Opportunities

What is the Census?
The U.S. Constitution requires that every 10 years, the Census Bureau conducts a population and housing count of the United States. People of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens, and non-citizens are counted. The first census was conducted in 1790 and the next will be in 2020. The 2020 Census will count the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail. The 2020 Census will mark the first time that you will be able to respond to the census online. Responding to the census is not only your civic duty; it also affects how your community plans for the future, your representation in government, and determines how more than $675 billion in funds is distributed to states each year to spend on schools, hospitals, housing, employment, roads, public works and other vital community programs.

How Does the Census Impact AEOA?
This once in a decade event is critical for Community Action Agencies like AEOA and the families and communities we serve across the Arrowhead Region. Every person counted is equal to $2,000 in funding to our communities a year, for ten years. When undercounted, communities lost fair share of resources and representation. AEOA is committed promoting a fair and accurate census count in 2020 so our communities will receive enough federal dollars to fund many of our vital community programs including Head Start, fuel assistance, Weatherization and more.

Populations served by Community Action Agencies like AEOA are historically hard-to-count populations and AEOA plays a key role in working to make sure these hard-to-count people and communities are counted in the Census and offer concrete tools and training to help our front-line staff maximize Census participation.

Why is the Census Important?
The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Census outcomes are important to Community Action Agencies like AEOA, as the outcomes can impact our programs such as Head Start, fuel assistance, and more.

How Do I Participate?
In 2020, for the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online, but you can still respond by phone or mail if you prefer. Beginning mid-March, people will start receiving a notice in the mail to participate in the 2020 Census.


What if I Don’t Respond to the 2020 Census?
In May, Census Bureau employees will begin following up in person with households that haven’t responded. For each person who chooses not to respond, our communities could lose an average of $20,000 over the next ten years. Respond to the 2020 Census and encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to respond so everyone in our communities will be accurately counted so our communities get our fair share of federal and state funding. The best way to avoid a follow-up visit from a census taker is to fill out the 2020 Census questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail as soon as you receive your invitation to participate.


Is My Information Safe and Kept Confidential?
Yes. Strict federal law protects your census responses. It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any Census information that identifies an individual. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both. No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time. Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes.

The Census Bureau will never ask for your Social Security number, bank or credit card account numbers, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party. If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via email or phone and asks for one of these things, it’s a scam, and you should not cooperate.

Phishing is a criminal act in which someone tries to get your information by pretending to be an entity that you trust. Phishing emails often direct you to a website that looks real but is fake—and may be infected with malware. It is important to know that the Census Bureau will not send unsolicited emails to request your participation in the 2020 Census.

The Census Questionnaire
The questionnaire only takes about 10 minutes to complete. For the first time, households will have the option of responding online. Households will be asked about everyone living or staying in the home (even temporarily) on April 1, 2020 (Census Day), including the living situation, age, sex, race, ethnic group, and relationship of each person. 

Why Are Census Workers Out in Communities?

You might see census takers in your neighborhood for a few different reasons:

  • They are verifying addresses in preparation for the census.
  • They are collecting responses to the census or another survey.
  • They are dropping off census materials.
  • They are conducting quality checks related to the census.

How Can I Identify a Census Bureau Employee?
If someone visits your home to collect a response for the 2020 Census, you can do the following to verify their identity:

  • First, check to make sure that they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
  • If you still have questions about their identity or suspect fraud, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative. If it's determined that the visitor who came to your door does not work for the Census Bureau, contact your local police department.


Are You Looking for Ways to Help Your Community?
The U.S. Census Bureau is currently hiring temporary positions for the 2020 Census in our area. By working for the Census Bureau, you can help them reach their goal for the 2020 Census to ensure everyone is counted. Census counts have a huge impact on our community. If you’re interested, please visit the Census Bureau job site to apply at 2020census.gov/jobs.


Take a pledge to commit to a fair and accurate Census in 2020!

AEOA staff will be able to assist with the 2020 Census and answer questions, however, they cannot complete the questionnaire for you. For assistance, stop by any AEOA office or call 800-662-5711. Let’s get our fair share of federal and state funding. Respond to the 2020 Census.

To learn more about the 2020 Census, visit 2020census.gov

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